Small batch biscuits for two! This recipe makes the lightest, fluffiest homemade all-butter biscuits, small batch style!
Today, I'm updating this recipe with new photos since I photographed it in 2011, but I have to say--I never left this recipe.
I've made it for years, and each time I pulled up the recipe on my own site, the overly yellow photos made me cringe. But, since I usually make this recipe in the early morning hours before my family wakes up, I never had enough natural light to re-photograph them. The stars aligned last week when I decided to make my white chicken chili with biscuits on the side.
Over time, I changed one small technique in the way that I make small batch biscuits. Instead of crowding the biscuits together in a small pan and purposefully having the edges touch, I space them out on a baking sheet. In my experience, they rise higher this way, and you get more crusty edges, which is the best part of a biscuit, in my opinion.
If you like those super soft biscuits for sopping up gravy, though, go ahead and place the biscuits close together on the sheet tray.
This small batch biscuit recipe makes 6 biscuits. You'll get 4 biscuits on the first roll out, and then gather the scraps to re-roll to get 2 more biscuits. It's important to do it this way rather than roll out the dough bigger and cut out all 6 at once so that you get the correct depth of dough.
The dough should be at least a ½" thick when you cut out each biscuit.
Small batch biscuits, step-by-step:
The other non-negotiable here is real buttermilk. I know I typically advise that it's okay to make a faux buttermilk with whole milk and lemon juice. There are times when it's okay, like in my small vanilla cake for two, and times when it's not, like in my rye bread and these small batch biscuits.
Sorry to be so nitpicky, but you can use the rest of the buttermilk to make my rye bread, small batch pancakes, my recipe for 4 red velvet cupcakes, or my super fun homemade ding dongs cupcakes!
Buttermilk has so many uses in my kitchen. I've even heard of people successfully freezing it in ice cube trays to use at a later date, so you always have that option, too.
I can't think of any breakfast that wouldn't be improved upon by some small batch biscuits, especially if sausage gravy is involved. If you have my second cookbook, Comfort & Joy: Cooking for Two, you'll know that I have a recipe for biscuits and gravy in that book. That cookbook has 3 different recipes for biscuits, which is slightly ridiculous, but don't forget: I'm a Texan.
I love serving these with my small batch strawberry jam in the spring and summer months, or slow cooker apple butter in the Fall. They're also very welcome for celebrating Thanksgiving for two.
There's hardly a time when biscuits aren't welcome!
Just look at that golden brown top and that mega-rise in the biscuits! They're perfection!
I use all butter when making biscuits because the flavor is best, but you can use half butter and half shortening in this recipe.
Whatever you do, though, don't forget to serve them with extra butter on the side. Salted butter is a revelation on biscuits instead of regular butter, even though this recipe is made with unsalted butter!
If you like these small batch biscuits, you might like my small batch dinner rolls.
Small Batch Buttermilk Biscuits
Makes 6 3" biscuits
- 1 ⅓ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
- ½ cup buttermilk (plus extra if needed)
- Preheat the oven to 450 and line a quarter sheet baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the flour mixture, cutting it in with a pastry cutter or two knives. When all of the pieces of fat are the size of rice and are coated in flour, pour in the buttermilk. Knead it slightly, and add additional buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time if the biscuit dough seems dry or crumbly.
- Tip the dough out onto a floured counter, and knead it 3 or 4 times to bring it together.
- Pat it out to 1" thick. Dip your 3" biscuit or cookie cutter in flour and cut out 4 biscuits. Gather up the scraps and gently pat them out in order to cut out more biscuits.
- Arrange the biscuits on the pan, evenly spaced. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until lightly golden on top. If you want, brush with extra melted butter as they come out of the oven.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 177Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 519mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g
katie :) says
Debbie P says
I can just double this recipe when grandkids come to visit right?
Christina Lane says
Deb Molitz says
I made these this evening adding cheddar cheese, cayenne pepper and mustard powder. Didn’t have a biscuit cutter so i used a small square shot glass. Made a dozen small square delicious biscuits. We ate them in lieu of dinner...
Thanks for a great easy recipe.
Christina Lane says
This sounds delicious!
All right, this is going to be a long comment. NOT a complaining comment, since these were delicious, but more of a baffled comment. Like Cathy above, I tried these and found that there was no possible way to get 6 biscuits out of this recipe as instructed, and zero chance of fitting them in a 6" pan.
I made the dough exactly as written above (from your "Comfort and Joy" cookbook). When I patted the dough out into a 1" thick circle (even measured carefully with a ruler) the dough makes a circle baaarreelly 6" across. You could maybe get two 3" biscuits out of that, definitely not the four that the recipe says. It's just a mathematic impossibility. I switched to a 2.5" cutter, and managed to squeak out three biscuits. Reformed the dough, cut out one more, and then had a little scrap left over. So, AS WRITTEN, this gets you only four 2.5" biscuits (plus a teensy little nugget biscuit from the scrap). I could just manage to cram these four biscuits into a 6" pan as instructed, but then there was no room for the little nugget biscuit, so I moved everyone over to an 8" pan. Again, there is no mathematic possibility of fitting SIX 3" biscuits into one 6" pan as the recipe instructs you to do. IMpossible. Somewhere there's a number off with this recipe. Instead of rolling the dough to 1" thick, I suspect it should be closer to 1/2 or 3/4th of an inch thick. That's the only way to get six biscuits out of this, even with a smaller cutter. And then they should definitely go into an 8" pan, or (as your updated blog instructions say) placed on a sheet pan. My four 2.5" biscuits rose very nicely in their 8" pan, but were still a teensy bit doughy in the middle after the instructed time, even though the tops were gorgeously golden (I ended up splitting them open and placing them doughy-side-up back in the oven for another five minutes). That doughiness, plus the impossibility of getting six biscuits from this recipe as written makes me think that the 1" thickness instruction is definitely off. Anyway, I'm very confused by how this recipe is written, mathematically. I'd love for some feedback...maybe remake these following your own recipe exactly as written, rather than by your own instincts, and see where the glitch is. The four biscuits that we did get were delicious, with my husband declaring "just as good as KFC"....whether that's a compliment or not, hard for us Northerners to say.
Christina Lane says
I love your comment! thanks so much for writing :)
So, if you look at the photos of the recipe, you can re-roll the dough after cutting out the first 3 to get a total of 6 biscuits. If you read the first paragraph of the post, it talks about re-rolling, also. And the recipe instructions say to re-roll, also.
I want your biscuits to be thick and fluffy, so keep to 1", cut out some, and then re-roll, like it says.
Thanks for writing! I'm glad you enjoyed them!
hey never ever picky its your recipe and a really good one. PBWU. Joseph ! " Good Eating "
Fantastic recipe! Perfect for two. Fluffy with crispy edges
You say to not use the milk/lemon juice sub for buttermilk. How about buttermilk powder? It’s what I have on hand... Also, please don’t take this as a criticism - it would be helpful if you included weight measurements for the flour. I use King Arthur Flour’s 120 gms/cup, but I know other sites use a heavier weight for a cup of flour.
These are so good!! I baked mine in a large iron skillet ( Lodge, of course ) I heated the iron skillet to make sure every part of it was hot. You have to try these!!
Susie Buckner says
These biscuits were perfect! Tall, fluffy layers, and delicious. I've been making biscuits for over 50 years, and these are best biscuits I ever had. I rotated my pan after 7 minutes, and baked 2.5 minutes more. Brushed tops with melted butter and served with homemade preserves. No additional butter needed.
Thank you, so much for developing a "small batch" biscuit recipe. I'm gluten-free, but my family is not. I'm always looking for "small batch" recipes, but I didn't know any such thing existed until earlier this year.